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Christmas carols in Singapore: Throwback to your childhood with these gorgeous festive concerts (most are free!)

By: Jess Smit

Love ’em or hate ’em, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without carols. So we’ve put our festive feelers out there and pulled together a little guide to the best places to hear a performance or two – some paid for, others free, but none involving Aunt Edna belting out ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’ after five sherries! (Psst… looking for Midnight Mass services? Jump inside, plus discover even more handy, festive articles about Christmas in Singapore here).

Free carolling services and concerts

Carols at Raffles - yes please!
Carols at Raffles – yes please!

 

Raffles Hotel
1 Beach Road, 189673
22 – 24 December 2014: 12pm to 12:30pm (North Bridge Road); 1pm to 1:30pm (hotel guests only); 2pm to 2:30pm (Raffles Courtyard)
25 December 2014: 12pm to 12:30pm (North Bridge Road); 1pm to 1:30pm (Bar & Billiard Room); 2pm to 2:30pm (hotel guests only); 4:30pm to 5pm (hotel guests only)

Christmas carols at Raffles Hotel – need we say more? While some performances are for hotel guests only, others are open to the public, making it the perfect spot for out-of-towners and visiting in-laws. You’ll find us right up front, misty-eyed, taking in the Victoria Junior College Choir as they carol merrily away at venues across the hotel.

Tanglin Mall
163 Tanglin Rd, 247933
20 December 2014: 5pm – 5.30pm and 6pm-6.30pm; 21 December 2014: 1.30pm-2pm and 2.30pm-3pm
Drop by for roving carolling by National University of Singapore, Raffles Hall and Vocca Inc Productions. Plus, Santa’ll be there for photo-taking, and there’s fake snow for little ones.

Christmas carols
“Away in a manger, no crib for his bed…”

 

 

Cluny Court
501 Bukit Timah Road, 259760, 2nd floor
30 November 2014, 1pm-1.30pm and 2pm-2.30pm
In support of The Singapore Cancer Society, Cluny Court has invited Kaze Flute Ensemble to perform a repertoire of Christmas carols and familiar favourites. Merry indeed.

Paragon
290 Orchard Road, 23885
5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 and 27 December 2014, 7pm and 8pm – Trisno Trio
1 to 4 December, 12:30pm and 1:30pm – Hazrul Nizam
8 December to 11 December, 12:30pm and 1:30pm – Carlos Sendros and Elisa
15 December to 18 December, 22 and 23 December, 12:30pm and 1:30pm – Carol Gomez & Nicholas Lim

Whether you’re hitting up Toys R Us for stockings or making a break for Coach for your own Christmas list, you’re likely to bump into this selection of musical darlings on your way around Paragon.

St Andrew's Cathedral
St Andrew’s Cathedral

 

St Andrew’s Cathedral
11 St Andrew’s Road, 178959
22 – 23 December 2014, 6.30pm-9.30pm
24 December 2014, 2pm-9.30pm
24 December 2014, 10pm

St Andrew’s Cathedral has a jam-packed Christmas programme, with evening open air performances, a food fair (from 2pm, 24 December) and a carols service at 10pm on Christmas Eve. There’s also a Christmas trail around the cathedral grounds with a life-size display of Bethlehem and the Nativity scene.

Saint George’s Church
44 Minden Road, 248816
24 December 2014, 11.15pm 
Carols and midnight communion at this Anglican church in Dempsey Hill makes for an extra special way to see in Christmas Day here on the island. Note: It’s popular among us expats, so get down there early!

Christmas on Orchard Road
Orchard Road in its festive best!

 

Tong Building Plaza
302 Orchard Road, 238862
24 December 2014, 7-8pm
Celebrate Christmas in Singapore (yes there’s a whole group devoted to drumming up festivity) has a programme that’ll turn Orchard Road into Santa’s backyard in the run-up to Christmas. We’re especially excited about the mass carolling and sing-along at Tong Building Plaza on Christmas Eve, with a choir made up of volunteers from churches across the island.

 

Victoria Chorale carolling on the Esplanade Concourse in 2013
Victoria Chorale carolling on the Esplanade Concourse in 2013

Sheraton Towers
39 Scotts Road, 228230
24 December 2014, 7.30pm and 8.30pm

Hearing the Victoria Chorale, made up of graduands from Singapore’s Victoria School and Victoria Junior College, in action is a real treat, so be sure to make your way here on Christmas Eve.

Clarke Quay
3 River Valley Road, 179024
14 November – 21 December 2014

Catch carollers cruising down the Singapore River in decorated river boats every Thursday to Saturday evening from 14 November to 21 December. There’s also a Christmas market and fireworks on 14 and 28 November and 12 December, so there’s more than enough to bring on that holiday mood.

An artist's impression of the Casa Armonica where the '12 Days of Choir' will be taking place
An artist’s impression of the Casa Armonica where the ’12 Days of Choir’ will be taking place

 

Gardens by the Bay Christmas Wonderland
18 Marina Gardens Drive, 018953
29 November – 21 December 2014
In case Gardens by the Bay wasn’t magical enough, this festive season will see the park being transformed into a Christmas Wonderland – complete with carollers. Head to the Supertrees to take in their huge, illuminated gazebo, named the Casa Armonica for its ability to amplify sound. This special spot will play host to ’12 days of choir’ every Friday, Saturday and Sunday during the festival.

There’ll be two half-hour performances per day by a special line-up of choirs such as – deep breath – The Paya Lebar Methodist Girls’ School (Secondary) Choir, Nanyang Technological University Choir, Temasek Junior College Write-Up, the River Valley Chorale and River Valley Chamber Singers, Haw Chong Choir and non-profit choral group EVOKX. Timings are still being firmed up, so head here for updates on who’ll be playing when.

City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road, 208539
20 and 21 December 2014, 3pm – 3.45pm
Drop by Singapore’s eco-mall on the afternoon of 20 or 21 December and you’ll be treated to a carols performance by the Emmanuel Choir from Church of St Bernadette. Level 1 Atrium is where it’s at!

Singapore Symphony Orchestra 

VCH Organ Series: Wolcum Yole! – A Christmas Concert
Date: 20 December 2014, 7.30pm
Venue: Victoria Concert Hall
Pricing: Zilch! Now that’s festive!
Tickets: Head here

To celebrate the re-opening of the Victoria Concert Hall, the audience will be treated to a free festive performance by Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir, plus talented organists Margaret Chen and Isaac Lee. The programme includes Bob Chilcott’s Angel Gabriel, Benjamin Britten’s Procession and Wolcum Yole, and the obligatory carol sing-a-long. Tickets are required for admission and registration opens on Monday 8 December 2014, so pop a note into your calendar now.

 

Carols you’ll need to shell out for

 

Christmas carols at the Esplanade Concert Hall!
Christmas carols at the Esplanade Concert Hall!

All Things Bright and Beautiful
Date and time: 13 December 2014, 7.30pm
Venue: Esplanade Concert Hall
Pricing: From $25
Tickets: SISTIC

For Christmas carols that’ll give you goosies, take in a performance by the Singapore Lyric Opera Children’s Choir and friends at the Esplanade Concert Hall. The line-up of classics include Dormouse’s Carol by Elizabeth Poston and John Rutter’s All Things Bright and Beautiful. This show will also feature the SLO Opera Chorus and the Nanyang Children’s Choir.

 

A snap from A Cappella Society's 2013 Christmas event, which gets little ones involved
A snap from A Cappella Society’s 2013 Christmas event, which gets little ones involved

 

A Cappella Christmas Vocal Jam
Dates: 22 November 2014 (11am, 3pm and 7pm) and 23 November 2014 (11am and 3pm)
Venue: TAS@Aliwal Arts Centre
Pricing: From $20
Tickets: peatix.com/user/349328

Reach the high notes at A Cappella Society’s family musical! The sing-along show will have you and your little ones jamming along with Santa, Mrs Claus and vocal group Urban Harmony to carols such as Feliz Navidad, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and Most Wonderful Time of the Year. It’s interactive too, so confident kiddies can hop on stage for a verse or two.

 

Christmas carols a la Singapore Symphony Orchestra!
Christmas carols a la Singapore Symphony Orchestra!

 

Singapore Symphony Orchestra (SSO) Christmas Concerts
Dates: 11-14 December 2014
Venue: Victoria Concert Hall
Pricing: From $20
Tickets: SISTIC

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas and John Rutter’s Candelight Carol will be among the carols and yuletide melodies being belted out by the SSO, the Singapore Symphony Chorus and the Singapore Symphony Children’s Choir. Set in the gorgeous Victoria Concert Hall, this show is sure to give you the Christmas shivers.

An Advent with the ACJC Alumni Choir 2014
Date: 7 December 2014
Venue: Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Concert Hall
Pricing: $23-$27
Tickets: https://advent.peatix.com/

Join the Anglo-Chinese Junior College (ACJC) Alumni Choir for classic carols and contemporary festive favourites in celebration of Advent, which marks the start of the Christmas season. Plus, there’s a sing-along segment so the audience can put their own vocal chords to work!

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